Doing better and being better, everywhere for everyone

“I don’t have sustainability in my job title but every opportunity I get, I’m trying to help us become more sustainable,” says Chad Chung, Engineering Manager at EnerSys®.

Chad has been with EnerSys since 2015 and just recently joined the EnerSys Richmond Kentucky team in May, where he now works with Plant Manager Troy Baxter and team to focus on system improvements and oversee engineering design.

In August 2022, Chad was part of the team that led the assessment of the Richmond plant as part of our participation in the U.S. Department of Energy Better Plants Program (BPP). The BPP is a U.S. Department of Energy initiative that works with leading U.S. manufacturers to set ambitious energy, water, waste, and carbon reduction goals. Participants commit to reducing energy intensity by 25% over a 10-year period across U.S. based operations. EnerSys joined the program in 2021 and we are currently assessing individual plants to identify and implement opportunities for energy savings.

“We’re excited to be a part of this program,” says Chad. “At the end of the day, my goal is to have a smaller carbon footprint in our community, and ultimately reduce natural resource consumption. Troy’s team is working on doing this every day, but the Better Plants assessment is helping us seize even more energy-reduction opportunities.”

As of August 2022, Richmond is the second EnerSys plant that has been assessed by the Better Plants Program, and learnings from these assessments will be replicated across EnerSys operations. The Better Plants program partners with universities around the country to assess local factories and plants. At the Richmond assessment, a team of students, Dr. Mahendran Sunkara, and Professor Mark McGinley from the University of Louisville, Mark Toda from the Kentucky Pollution Center, and Senthil Sundaramoorthy, a representative from the Better Plants Program, toured and assessed the plant with Chad and other EnerSys leaders. The team placed energy usage monitors on equipment and performed luminance testing throughout the building. They also paid special attention to the battery formation areas, the HVAC system, compressed air machines, motors, and boilers, and also reviewed the waste and recycling streams.

“It was great to have Mark Toda, Prof. McGinley and Dr. Sunkara there, but we were especially excited to work with the engineering students from the University of Louisville,” said Chad. “It’s always great to have fresh minds and ideas, and I’m happy that we were able to provide them with some hands-on learning experiences at our plant. It’s truly a win-win.” Once we receive the results from the assessment, the Richmond team will assess the needed resources required and begin to implement the identified opportunities at the plant.

Beyond the Better Plants initiative, Chad is also working towards Richmond’s goal of reducing energy usage by 10% this year and is currently in the process of hiring a new automation engineer, who will work with Chad to focus on improving sustainability through making processes more efficient at Richmond.

“There’s so many opportunities that we have to make our business better for the communities we work in and the world as a whole,” says Chad. “There’s not a day that we’re not looking to do better and be better, everywhere for everyone.”

Chad Chung, Troy Baxter, and Micah Meeker give students from the University of Louisville a tour of the Richmond plant.